- Every tribe represented
- Gaddafi perplex the elders
- Kenyan elders crown Gadaffi 'King of Africa'
- 'Long live Gaddafi' shouted the elders
And more from Lute of Arusha Times newspaper:
Thousands of African Chiefs from almost all over the continent were on verge of becoming founding members of a greater United States of Africa. Recently they had twice been ferried from their poverty stricken tribal dwellings to Libya where they wined and dined in luxurious hotels by the self – proclaimed African King of Kings and Brother Leader - Gaddafi.
During their last visit, for example, in early January this year(2011), more than 600 of them were again ferried to Tripoli where apart from brainstorming, or rather being lectured, on the establishment of this greater Union, they were feted to sumptuous meals of camel steaks, cashed US$ 1000 each for miscellaneous expenditures, given expensive gifts including Rolex watches and urged to present their ‘development’ needs.
A delegation from Kenya was among the hundreds of recipients of this African hospitality. A colleague sent me this report from the Daily Nation; ‘A month ago, elders from across the country visited Libya where they were granted audience by Mr. Gaddafi and at which a leopard skin was presented. They used the opportunity to hold out the begging bowls for projects worth billions of shillings.
The mission left Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on January 3 on a jet sent from Tripoli and returned on January 9. It was the third time elders from Kenya were invited to Libya, receiving royal treatment this time round. A dinner with the Libyan strongman lasted more than four hours.
In Tripoli, they were received by armed presidential guards and driven to the five- star Corinthia Hotel in luxury buses that also took them for a tour of the city and a few tourist destinations in the outskirts of Tripoli. On the third day, they met Mr. Gaddafi in a tented area near his palace. “We were awed by his simplicity and generosity. We sat with him and an official army vehicle brought two camels that were slaughtered in our presence. We were told it was a sign that we were valued visitors,” says Mr. Daniel ole Muyaa.
In turn, they presented to him some gifts that included the leopard skin, a spear, his portrait with US President Barack Obama and several African traditional artifacts. Apart from the all expenses paid trip, the elders were each given money for “shopping”. “We were given $1,000 each,” says Mr. Peter Njoroge, a director with Amani Sasa Foundation.
One of the key items on the agenda was the funding requests for various projects.
“Each community had their proposals due to different needs and what we are doing now is to fine-tune them,” says Njuuri Ncheke secretary-general Phares Ruteere.
For example, the Meru elders’ proposal worth around Sh500 million included funding for two modern market centres in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties. “We shall also build two cultural centres, which will be crucial tourist sites,” says Mr. Ruteere.
A document seen by the Nation shows that the first tranche of $2 million (Sh162 million) is earmarked to set up offices in 248 districts and targets about 600 elders as coordinators.
Each of the offices will have a telephone, a computer and “a means of transport”.
Already, the Luo Council of Elders has received a van which has incidentally stoked controversy between ousted chairman Riaga Ogallo and a group revolving around the new boss, Mr. Willis Otondi.
It seems, from the recent developments in Benghazi and Tripoli, that the Forum of Kings, Sultans, Sheikhs and Mayors of Africa is very much a non-starter. Puff! It has suddenly burst into thin air. And what a hollow experience that is!
Source : http://www.arushatimes.co.tz/off_topic.htm